No Need to Go the Curb Anymore
My pals over at onfrozenblog.com have written a fair bit about the lack of hockey coverage in The Washington Post. I was reminded of that today when I learned that the beat writer for the Atlanta Journal Constitution is working on a series of pieces on the Thrashers’ top prospects. It’s also worth noting that the Thrashers’ web team has sent its beat writer to Chicago to cover the AHL Wolves for a bit since the Thrash was ousted from the playoffs.
Don’t know about you, but Atlanta never struck me as being more of a hockey town than Washington is.
Post beat writer Tarik El-Bashir is a good friend of mine. He loves the game and he does a good job of covering the Caps and the game, when the powers that be let him. The problem is that the sports editors don’t perceive any need or demand for hockey coverage there, and I guess the fan base has just grown tired of having its pleas for more coverage fall on deaf ears.
Or maybe the local hockey fans’ needs are being met elsewhere. That’s what I’m guessing.
Check any of the blogs listed on the blogroll to the right of this piece. Hockey, hockey, hockey. And volume, volume, volume. Those are mostly local blogs there, and I’d wager their output is far greater than that of The Post (washingtonpopup.com, for those of you who read it online). There were at least as many representatives from local hockey blogs as local newspapers in attendance on Monday when the Caps introduced Nicklas Backstrom to the local media.
It’s nice to have options. You can read Tarik whenever they let the reins off him, and you can also read a number of high quality blogs (including Tarik’s) that are devoted to hockey and the Capitals.
Finally, it’s worth noting that other avenues exist for local hockey coverage. Longtime fans know that DC101’s Elliott in the Morning frequently gives the Caps their due on his show. And SportsTalk980’s Al Koken is a longtime local champion of the game and the team. Since the Caps’ season ended more than a month ago, Koken and his various cohorts (mostly on The John Thompson Show) at 980 have had several guests on to talk about hockey and/or the Caps, including George McPhee, Glen Hanlon, Brian Pothier, Pierre McGuire and Nicklas Backstrom.
Even better, you can listen to on-demand replays or podcasts of those interviews here. If you’re a Caps fan, you really owe it to yourself to listen to the McGuire interview. There’s a lot of hope packed into just a few minutes.
It’s a long summer for all of us, and we’ve gotta do what we can to get through it. The coverage is there, and it’s more convenient than walking to the curb in your Tony Soprano/Mike Commodore model white terry cloth robe. Dig in.